Durham County

Kids with food allergies? On Halloween, look for teal pumpkins when trick or treating

The annual Teal Pumpkin Project uses teal-colored pumpkins to designate homes where families offer alternatives to candy on Halloween to accommodate children with food allergies.
The annual Teal Pumpkin Project uses teal-colored pumpkins to designate homes where families offer alternatives to candy on Halloween to accommodate children with food allergies. Submitted

Halloween can be a tough time for children allergic to peanuts, eggs, milk and other foods. For many of these children, candy is not a treat, and they feel left out of the fun.

Parents whose children have food allergies who want an alternative to candy on Halloween should look for a teal colored pumpkin on the porch of a family participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. For the fourth year, the Food Allergy Research & Education is sponsoring the national project.

Trick-or-treaters who approach a house with a teal pumpkin will know that the residents have agreed to provide glow sticks, small toys and other treats that are not food. Families who want to display a teal pumpkin, or find a teal pumpkin house, may register or search on the nonprofit foundation’s website map.

A quick search of the map showed that a number of households in Durham, Orange and Wake counties plan to offer Play-Doh, bouncy balls, miniature games, stickers and other items in addition to food.

The website also features logos, signs and other items for download.

The annual project seeks to draw more attention to the seriousness of food allergies.

“One in 13 children in the U.S. has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years,” Lois A. Witkop, chief advancement officer at FARE, said in a press release.

“It’s clear that food allergies are a serious public health issue that we all must take seriously. The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded,” she said.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1

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